April 22, 2003
INFORMATION: Sue Bozman or John McElwain, (661) 362-3415 or 3494
College to Hold Age Wave Expo on May 3
Event Explores Issues in the Graying of America
It is a first in the Santa Clarita Valley an event aimed at exploring the impact of an aging America on families, communities, social services and institutions virtually every part of American life. The event is called the Age Wave Expo and is sponsored by The Association of Lifelong Intergenerational Voluntary Education (A.L.I.V.E.), the Santa Clarita Valley Senior Center, Sunrise at Sterling Canyon and the Magazine of Santa Clarita. A day-long series of educational activities will be held on the COC campus from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, May 3.
According to Patty Robinson, an organizer of the days activities and sociology instructor at College of the Canyons, The Expo will include presentations, activities, information, and entertainment oriented towards helping community members understand and deal with the impact and implications of aging in our society. The day will include entertainment staged by both students and senior citizens; an intergenerational art exhibit; a noontime presentation by Marriage and Family Therapist, Judith Harris; and a variety of activities designed to promote interaction between generations.
More than 30 vendors will be on hand to provide information and education about aging issues. Some of them are:
- SCV Senior Center
- Capri Retirement Villa
- Sunrise at Sterling Canyon
- Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital
- U.S. Department of Labor/Employee Benefits Security Administration
- ONE Generation
- Summerhill Villa
- Coldwell Banker Vista Realty
- Alzheimers Association of Los Angeles, Riverside and San Bernardino Counties
- California Highway Patrol
- Law Offices of Gina MacDonald and Jane McNamara
- Voluntary Mediation Services/County of Los Angeles Senior Information Van
- Kiwanis Clubs of Santa Clarita
- Junior Achievement
- COC Community Extension
- COC Early Childhood Education
- And a host of additional community resources and college programs.
It is estimated that almost a quarter of the U.S. population will be older than 65 by the year 2050. This represents a major demographic shift in this country, which will have profound impacts on economics, marketing, consumerism and healthcare.
One fascinating and important aspect of the day will be the presentation of poster boards of Santa Clarita Valley seniors lives. These are the products of an ingenious academic pursuit by the students in COCs Sociology of Aging class as well as students from English, history and philosophy classes. As part of these classes and in conjunction with COCs Service-Learning program, students will participate in sociological research by collecting life histories of several SCV seniors.
This project is made possible by a grant received by the colleges Volunteer and Service-Learning Center from the Association for Gerontology in Higher Education (AGHE), Generations Together/University of Pittsburgh, and the Corporation for National and Community Service. COC students not only provide 20 hours of community service to area seniors, but they are also required to conduct 4-hour, in-depth, intensive interviews with valley seniors. Match-ups between students and seniors were facilitated by the SCV Senior Center. In all, approximately 120 oral histories will be collected during the spring semester.
This type of experiential learning enables students to gain real-life knowledge of a social condition and to understand it by linking classroom to community, stressed Robinson. It is not until students work at a senior center or discuss first-hand the specific challenges faced by the elderly do they begin to recognize the diminished social status that often accompanies growing old in the United States.
Robinson is an upbeat and optimistic individual who prefers to meet challenges head-on. The theme she and the organizers of the day have agreed upon reflects that attitude: Learning and Playing Among the Generations: A Celebration for all Ages!
Featuring free admission, free parking, raffles and giveaways, along with a host of fun activities and exhibits, the day will definitely live up to the days theme.
For more information about this event, call Patty Robinson at (661) 362-3992, or e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org